**Almost 40% of rural Americans do not have access to broadband internet service. According to the Wall Street Journal, that amounts to about 23 million people whose on-line service can be compared to dial-up speeds, at best.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says broadband connectivity should be considered the “roads, sewers and water” of the modern age, but industry estimates say it costs $30,000 per mile to install fiber-optic cable.

The situation is improving however. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports high speed internet is now available to more than 60% of rural homes, compared to just 35% a decade ago.

**U.S. animal disease scientists say they now have access to a new and more precise Foot-and-Mouth Disease test.

Homeland Security’s Roxann Motroni tells Brownfield the new FMD test kit identifies the presence or absence of a specific protein.

Motroni says the test shows results in three hours and will prevent the unnecessary slaughter of animals that otherwise would have tested positive after vaccination, whether they had the disease or not.

**Just five years ago if you wanted to eat crickets, your best bet was to look around in the garden.

Now you can find them in protein bars and tortilla chips on the shelves of popular grocery stores. And more cricket farms are popping up, too, around the world.

While most mainstream U.S. farmers haven’t yet diversified to crickets, it’s hard to deny a mini-revolution is brewing on the best and most sustainable way to produce the unique protein.


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